Owner of Prescott House Dies

Dorothy M. Feaganes, 84, was known for her passionate fight to save her historic home.

Dorothy M. Feaganes, the homeowner who fought for many years to keep the 107-year-old Manassas house she grew up in from being demolished by the city, has died.

Manassas City Attorney Martin Crim told city council Monday that she died in mid-December, not long after a city council meeting where council members learned a "wealthy benefactor" had stepped forward and offered to pay for the repairs to the Victorian home at 9300 Prescott Ave., which has been the subject of ire and debate for many years.

Feaganes was living in Alexandria until she died Dec. 21 at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, according to a Baker Post Funeral Home Obituary. She was 84.

The Prescott House, as the home is often called, has passed to her heirs, a son and a daughter, Crim told council. Timothy Purnell, a Manassas attorney who was retained by Feaganes before her death, will continue to take care of legal matters for the estate, Crim said.

Purnell was retained with money from a wealthy Virginian benefactor who has vowed to pay for the select demolition and repair of the property, but wishes to remain anonymous.

The benefactor is a well-to-do pilot and friend of Feaganes' late husband, Elvin, Purnell said. 

The architectural work for the home has apparently already been paid for in full by the benefactor, Crim said Monday.

Tony Pancione of Tovan Construction submitted a building permit to the city in December for select demolition of the property, along with a plan for restoration that would have the property ready for possible occupancy within a year.

The select demolition of the home's hallmark Queen Anne-style porch, which the city had deemed unsafe, has started and the scaffolding around the building has gone up within the past few days, Crim said on Monday.

The benefactor wouldn’t commit to a specific amount he would spend to save the house, but said he wanted to take it slowly, Purnell told council in December.

The next issue is to tackle the reverse mortgage on the home, Crim said.

In December, the home was in danger of foreclosure.


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